The World Health Organization (WHO) believes 50 million people on the planet have dementia. Each year 10 million cases are added to that number. Alzheimers is the most common type of dementia.
Aging — the report says and as most of us already know — is not the reason for dementia. It is a combination of factors including health conditions and behaviors. A new report from the WHO released some new guidelines on how to avoid having it happen to you.
The best thing you can do — the report notes — is exercise. Maria Carrillo is the chief science officer of the Alzheimer’s Association. She agrees and says the bottom brain-saving line is keeping yourself in good shape.
She said exercise — not vitamins or medications — is the key to dementia prevention. Since dementia is incurable and different kinds of experimental therapies have failed, Carrillo says exercise is one of the better choices to keep dementia from attacking you.
Plus — as you know — there are lots of other benefits that come from exercise. The National Institute on Aging agrees with WHO and says this is common sense and echoes what it has been saying for years.
Here are some of the benefits WHO and the institute say exercise provides. It helps with:
• High blood pressure
• High cholesterol
It also helps with an active social life and assists in helping to avoid:
• Alcohol abuse
But does doing those things increase the thinking skills and help with the avoidance of dementia? Probably not. They will — however — aid your general health. That said, the WHO notes eating well does help. This is especially true — says WHO Dr. Neerja Chowdhary — if you eat a Mediterranean-like diet.
Vitamins — like some providers insist — will not help battle dementia. These would be vitamins B and E, fish oil or multi-complex supplements. Chowdhary says they just don’t work.
“There is currently no evidence to show that taking these supplements actually reduces the risk of cognitive decline and dementia, and in fact, we know that in high doses these can be harmful,” Chowdhary said.
Carrillo agrees, “People should be looking for these nutrients through food ... not through supplements.”
The WHO also points to the theory that playing games and other activities will slow down the onset of dementia. For people mildly affected by dementia they might work but not for those at higher risk.
Antidepressants are also not recommended to reduce dementia and its risk.
Source link: Associated Press